Advocacy Action Center

The Baker Administration Wants to Change the Sales & Meals Tax Remittance Process & Deadline…
Contact your Legislators TODAY & Tell Them it’s a BAD IDEA!
Unfortunately, Gov. Charlie Baker’s FY20 state budget proposal proposes changes to the state’s sales and meals tax collection and remittance process.  Currently, vendors collect and remit MA sales tax by the 20th day of the following month. 
The Governor has proposed changes directing the Department of Revenue (DOR) to -- by regulation -- require a preliminary remittance prior to the due date of the sales tax return, for vendors who annually remit in excess of $100,000 in sales tax.  And this includes sales tax on meals, and the local option meals tax.
What is or when is that “preliminary remittance of tax” due?  We don’t know, because the budget proposal doesn’t tell us – we just have to trust the DOR.
RAM is strongly opposed to making any changes in the current sales tax remittance process, and we are extremely concerned with this proposal to simply give the DOR carte blanche to dictate by regulation any early remittance timing that they choose.  The current process, including the requirement to remit by the 20th of every month, is spelled out in state law, as adopted by the Legislature.  With this proposal the Administration is continuing to pursue a path back to the “Real Time” discussions of the previous two years – despite the vast opposition against it.  
DOR could by regulation propose to require payments whenever they want, including “Real Time.”  Or maybe once a week, or twice a month, or….
The DOR also would be deciding who the early remittance applies to.  If they choose to go to the $100,000 annual threshold, that would mean all retailers and restaurants with more than $1.6 million in taxable sales would be impacted.  Those are small businesses. 
This proposal is anti-small business and would negatively impact our local, family owned, independent sellers who are already struggling under the burdens of soaring rents, high health insurance costs, the EMAC tax, the increasing minimum wage and the forthcoming mandatory paid family and medical leave program. 
Why do this?  This does not increase revenue.  There is no new money to be found.  This would simply provide a one-time increase during the initial month of implementation, a one-time revenue boost that the Administration estimates at $306 million.
The Governor’s budget is now before the House, which will release and debate its own version in mid-April.  All members are encouraged to contact your legislators and urge them to reject the Governor’s proposed changes to the state’s sales and meals tax remittance process.

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